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Reducing drug related deaths: a pre-implementation assessment of knowledge, barriers and enablers for naloxone distribution through general practice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Catriona Matheson
  • Christiane Pflanz-Sinclair
  • Lorna Aucott
  • Wilson, Philip Michael John
  • Richard Watson
  • Stephen Malloy
  • Elinor Dickie
  • Andrew McAuley

BACKGROUND: The Scottish Naloxone Programme aims to reduce Scotland's high number of drug-related deaths (DRDs) caused by opiate overdose. It is currently implemented through specialist drug services but General Practitioners (GPs) are likely to have contact with drug using patients and their families and are therefore in an ideal position to direct them to naloxone schemes, or provide it themselves. This research gathered baseline data on GP's knowledge of and willingness to be involved in DRD prevention, including naloxone administration, prior to the implementation of primary care based delivery.

METHODS: Mixed methods were used comprising a quantitative, postal survey and qualitative telephone interviews. A questionnaire was sent to 500 GPs across Scotland. An initial mailing was followed by a reminder. A shortened questionnaire containing seven key questions was posted as a final reminder. Telephone interviews were conducted with 17 GPs covering a range of demographic characteristics and drug user experience.

RESULTS: A response rate of 55% (240/439) was achieved. There was some awareness of the naloxone programme but little involvement (3.3%), 9% currently provided routine overdose prevention, there was little involvement in displaying overdose prevention information (<20%). Knowledge of DRD risk was mixed. There was tentative willingness to be involved in naloxone prescribing with half of respondents willing to provide this to drug users or friends/family. However half were uncertain GP based naloxone provision was essential to reduce DRDs.Factors enabling naloxone distribution were: evidence of effectiveness, appropriate training, and adding to the local formulary. Interviewees had limited awareness of what naloxone distribution in primary care may involve and considered naloxone supply as a specialist service rather than a core GP role. Wider attitudinal barriers to involvement with this group were expressed.

CONCLUSIONS: There was poor awareness of the Scottish National Naloxone Programme in participants. Results indicated GPs did not currently feel sufficiently skilled or knowledgeable to be involved in naloxone provision. Appropriate training was identified as a key requirement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Family Practice
Volume15
Pages (from-to)12
ISSN1471-2296
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2014

    Research areas

  • Drug Overdose/mortality, Female, General Practice, Humans, Male, Naloxone/therapeutic use, Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use, Scotland, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 217946992